PRMC COVID Community Update
July 7, 2021
Our active COVID infection numbers remain about the same in Lamar County, with 3-4 people in the hospital with COVID at a time, on average. Of the patients admitted in the last few months, just one had been vaccinated (and had a COVID infection already in the fall). Our active cases in Lamar County were down to 36 on June 2, and Texas overall continues to report about 1,000 new cases daily. We continue to practice enhanced safety and sanitization protocol in addition to COVID patient isolation. Our hospital is completely safe and here for you if you need us.
Most of the recent news about COVID is dominated by the rise of the delta variant. The variants got renamed, with alpha now the name of the UK variant, beta the South African variant, gamma the Brazilian variant, and delta the Indian variant. The delta variant is more infectious, with data reporting that the Pfizer vaccine is only 65% effective against infection, but still 90% effective against hospitalization. The gamma variant has been found to be more infectious and severe in children, and more than 1,200 under the age of 10 have died from this variant. COVID has now surpassed cancer and drowning in top causes of death in children. The 20-40 age group makes up most of the new infections and are being hospitalized at a higher rate. Long-term symptoms from COVID are estimated to be present in 10-30% of patients, with more women affected than men.
Baylor College of Medicine recently addressed why someone who already had COVID would want to be vaccinated. The level of antibodies from one exposure to a COVID infection have often been measured as lower than that of the COVID antibody level after vaccinations, which makes the person who previously had COVID more at risk for infection, particularly to a variant. Being immunized after a COVID infection helps ensure that someone with a normal immune system has optimum titers to fight off subsequent infection. In addition, the virus variants circulating now are not the same as in the beginning of the pandemic, and are more infectious, so added immunity with the vaccine is needed for improved protection.
Booster recommendations have not been released yet. One source said that when hospitalizations rise, that will be a sign that community immunity is waning and a booster is needed. For immunocompromised people, particularly organ transplant recipients, a third dose is beginning to be recommended as their titer levels are low after two vaccines and they continue to have high risk of COVID infection and death.
We are excited to be working our way back to "normalcy," which includes resuming gatherings. Some upcoming community health events include:
- Bereavement groups meet the second Tuesday of each month at PrimeTime at 11, and on the 4th Thursday of the month at Summit Hospice (by Paris Apothecary) at 1 p.m.
- Walk with a Doc is the 4th Thursday of the month at 11:45 and meets in the Lobby of PRMC Pavilion 2. Anyone is welcome to attend. We walk inside if the weather is not accommodating.
- Red River Fair Senior Health Fair will be September 28 in the Coliseum at the Fairgrounds. Come out and see us!
Stay active and stay healthy!
Dr. Amanda Green
Chief Medical Officer for Paris Regional Medical Center